Mapimpi starts as Sharks make wholesale changes
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Sharks head coach Sean Everitt has picked a much-changed side for Saturday’s Rainbow Cup SA match against the Lions at Ellis Park.
Everitt has named an all-new front row with Ntuthuko Mchunu, Kerron van Vuuren and Wiehahn Herbst taking over from Ox Nche, Fez Mbatha and Thomas du Toit.
An intriguing tussle awaits fans as the Cell C Sharks and Emirates Lions go head-to-head on Saturday in Joburg following their various fortunes in the competition of late.
— The Sharks (@TheSharksZA) June 3, 2021
In the second row, Hyron Andrews returns to the side in the place of Reniel Hugo while James Venter is a welcome inclusion after a long-term injury.
Phepsi Buthelezi will play at No.8, with Thembelani Bholi named on the bench and Henco Venter takes over the captaincy from Lukhanyo Am and he shifts back to flank.
The backline changes see Manie Libbok replacing Curwin Bosch at flyhalf, while Makazole Mapimpi makes a welcome return with his first Sharks appearance in 2021 after returning from Japan.
Yaw Penxe takes over from the injured Sibusiso Nkosi on the other wing and Werner Kok replaces Lukhanyo Am in the midfield.
The final change sees Anthony Volmink coming in for Aphelele Fassi at fullback.
Sharks: 15 Anthony Volmink, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Werner Kok, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Henco Venter (captain), 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 JJ van der Mescht, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu.
Replacements: 16 Fez Mbatha, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Ruben van Heerden, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Boeta Chamberlain, 23 Jeremy Ward.
Date: Saturday, June 5
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 16.00 (14.00 GMT)
Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant referees: Cwengile Jadezweni, Aimee Barrett-Theron
TMO: AJ Jacobs